I am well loved. You are too. 🙂
Sometimes, we cannot believe or accept it deep down in our core. We just can’t, because our hearts have been so, so hurt and hardened. It’s one of those things that I’ve only been able to learn through people who’ve demonstrated it to me in the worst of times when I expected to be ignored and ticked off.
It’s hard to explain, but something that’s lavished on you because you did well, kindness that stems out of a desire to be liked or that is excited about reciprocation…all of this is different from a tender, accepting love. You just know it when you receive it. It heals your heart, and you rest in it. It reassures you that it’s OK to be imperfect, it’s safe to be ugly, and weak, and wrong…and no matter what love will not leave!
We can change our mindsets and perspectives to a certain extent, counselling works to a certain extent (or so I’ve been convinced by my case studies at uni), good friends cheer us up with fun things; but I haven’t yet experienced anything that can replace the unconditional love of God.
The ‘unconditional love of God’ is so cliched sometimes it’s robbed of its meaning. But if you once tasted it and the power is lost on you, you’ve probably forgotten what it really is! It’s OK, we humans are good at forgetting…we just have to open our mouths and drink from the sweet spring again! 🙂
Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that not everyone is able to open their hearts to it. I remind myself not to judge after looking at my fluctuating self. Some refuse it, and we need to respect that. Some are wary and doubtful, and we need to keep loving away their fear. Some simply have no notion of love after being abused and rejected all their lives…how terribly unfortunate would it be if we give up loving them! We need to love…not with pity, not as someone looking down on a needy being, for God does not ‘poor you, I’ll help you out because I’m in a better position’ pity us, he ‘you’re so precious it breaks my heart to see you like that’ loves. We need God’s grace to hold it out with gentleness and tenacity!
When I botched my test, couldn’t get out of bed, screwed up a friendship, was miserably and helplessly depressed yet again, God gave me an inner knowing that I was loved. I was sad, wildly uncertain, ashamed, freakin scared, but I realized I wasn’t cynical, bitter, confused, imploding in my own world, or wallowing in self-pity like before. I am hopeful…and I know that despite the pain of being misunderstood and lonely in many instances, I am genuinely cared for, that there are people I can count on to tide me through! I am well loved and provided for!
I can relax…be more forgiving to myself, less self critical. 🙂 I can accept my flaws with a smile knowing I have permission and time to work on them. It’s OK that I gained weight again. It’s OK I give up too easily. It’s OK I know too little, don’t read enough, barely make any friends in class. It’s OK I don’t practice what I preach at times. God sees, my friends see, and they still love and forgive and accept. And they are rooting for me to change.
These changes are not choices I’d have the character or ability to make on my own. They are responses to an unconditional love.